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Jason Pook's Games Design Blog


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Client Project- Session 20-22

On the return of Easter as group leaders we was hoping to see our teams work over the holidays towards the project. Unfortunately when asked the majority of the group had focused on their self initiated projects instead of the client, this was quite disappointing as everyone was set targets and agreed to them before Easter. Nevertheless we proceeded with the group meeting after I stated to the group that we all agreed on a target and seen as myself and Phil was pulled from the project due to doing too much work on it and not enough on the rest of our work it was down to the rest to produce work.

With that all being said we had estimated we have around 6 weeks left due to no pinned down hand in dates, due to this we all agreed that to have a 2 week clean up period before the final hand in was a sensible action to take. This would mean we have 4 weeks to finish everything outstanding for every individual in the group, then those 2 weeks would be spent checking all the work for errors, bug testing the engine, and then correcting any errors that existed. This would be a similar procedure than what would be taken in industry, before a game would be shipped everything would be checked, checked again and checked again really. The final product is the key and will be on view to the public for example we don’t want to be explaining why that car is floating above a building its unprofessional and with this 2 week clean up period this should eradicate any issues.

Before Easter in the last session we had been trying to come up with a name for the project (see link for design process of name), with many being generated and one not particularly pinned down we decided to leave it until after Easter to decide on a name, this allowed anyone to have a think and possibly come up with a name for the project. With that being said we finally decided on my idea of “Old Town Memories”. I particularly liked the name because it had a soft ring to it, also it directly linked to our project with us designing a section of Old Town and with it being the 1960’s and most people will still be around from that time period remembering what it was like it would spark memories.

With the named being decided on the design documents for the public eye needed to be done. This would include things such as leaflets/flyers, concept booklet, logo/banner, and a bio of the project. This would be a general input from the entire group as the more input the better. My personal input was that we need a theme to it, a general style for each document which replicates over the other documents gives a professional look to it all. As for style i suggested as I did to David with the UI/HUD elements to research into fashion colour trends on the time period to try link it all in.

Closing the group meeting I emphasised the importance of communication, we need to talk people cannot be at any point in the dark now, if there are any struggles from any individual they need to be open about it so somebody can help to progress them further or take the work from them so its completed. Its crunch time and teamwork needs to be a priority.

Moving on, in-between session 20 and 21 we had a surprise meeting with our actual client John Netherwood the chairman of the Hull Civic Society. The required myself and Phil to take the meeting and introduce ourselves, our work and what we have done with the project. To have a quick and efficient way of showing the project instead of having them playing it, Phil made a matinee sequence which made a fly around of the project disabling all player controller input. Mr Netherwood arrived with his wife to see the project, myself and Phil proceeded to shake hands and take the meeting in a professional manner. We discussed current progress, features and our passion towards showing this to the public. Which we was confirmed with a venue of the History centre alongside the fashion students 1960’s project. Also a near certain of Hull’s transport museum in September when the Hull Heritage week is on. Then any other possible venues we would need to seek out ourselves which we had planned to do in the next session. We are also going to try contact the Hull Daily Mail to do a article on our work at its current stage and then a follow up of where it will be by the time the Heritage week comes around.

Overall myself and Phil was very pleased with how the meeting went, we stayed professional and happily had a back and forward conversations from questions posed from the client. Discussed what they would like to see from the project and so on, it was a really beneficial meeting for myself it allowed myself to gain confidence in talking to potential clients as we was naturally nervous about what they would think. They also liked the name of the project which was pleasing as we had trouble pinning one down initially so all positives came out of the meeting which was great for us.

Moving onto session 21 which will continue into Thursday as we presented all of our work since Easter on Thursday including the client work. Initially in the session we had a brief catch up on what work has been done since last week, this week we had a full group which we didn’t the previous week so everyone was caught up. After that Myself, Phil and our tutor Paul went to go try secure some potential venues for showcasing our work. This would test once again myself and Phil on our professionalism and communication skills. We initially talked to the Transport Museum in which we had to fill out a form to send to the governing board to approve. Moving on it was now open to us to try secure venues, we managed to get Fanthorpes on silver street and prospect centre as definates, then kapow, princes quay, st stephens, ferens art gallery as possibilities. Unfortunately a few no’s came with asking from shops like granger games and thats entertainment but we still tried, rejection is all part of it you dont get if you dont ask.

Then on Thursday we showcased our work for the client. My work involved completion of buildings on Trinity House Lane which were Wetherspoons, trinity market entrance, bob carvers, and Davids handed over building which is currently a coffee shop called Coco’s. I will now go through my building to their current stage from what I did in my presentation in a briefer form with a self evaluation for each.

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These photos were taken by James Branson (his blog) when we all went out taking photographs in the early stages of the project.

 

This is my model of the current Wetherspoons (we are unsure on the original building so may take artistic license to leave it as a pub until we find more). This building has taken me around 3 weeks with working on other things at the same time, as its a highly detailed building I think this is an acceptable time. I have put this down as finished ready to be handed over to the texture team and then to go in engine, the model itself could do with some time taken on optimisation but due to the upcoming deadline my time is better placed elsewhere as the optimisation wont effect us hardly at all and if needs be the texture team can go in to the model and delete loops or polygons to support the unwrapping. The building itself is 21,888 poly’s which with the fine details and complexity of certain features in the building I feel it is a realistic poly count. Issues I came across whilst modelling this was correctly scaling the sections of the building as it seems to be sectioned by ledges, putting the ledge in the right place so that all the window frames, pillars and so on was also to scale was key to the building looking correct. This took tweaking but im pleased with the end product and proportions of the build. The development in my modularity has aided me well in this particular building as extruding pieces like the window-frames, pillars, chimneys, lights etc was the same and only minor edits to the curvature on some parts was needed allowing quick development when adding a feature such as a window-frame. Overall being a later building in the year I feel my 3D skillset had progressed massively in comparison to initial buildings in terms of quality and speed, if any problems arise im confident enough now to quickly amend any issues.

These photos were taken by James Branson (his blog) when we all went out taking photographs in the early stages of the project.

 

This building is the entrance to trinity market, a fairly simple building that didn’t take me very long, as soon as Wetherspoons was complete the building speed increased rapidly. This building I have had to make sure it matches correctly with wetherspoons, i found the modelling of a section of a street so building sections together was far more effective as scale and alignment was much easier to achieve than when your working alongside another person and having to make changes once you realise in engine its slightly out. The building itself I found fairly easy as once again its a later building in my year and I feel more advanced in my 3D work. the only issues was to how to make the extruding shape around the first window in the lowest possible form, which i realise would be as a separate pushed in object to the shape rather than modeled in around the window. Generally the building was simple just swift loops for the windows of the building and door, then everything else modeled separately and snapped to the building facure. Another building im pleased with, finished and ready to hand over to texture and then go into engine. Only addition would be needed if texture team agreed would be the slight fence style look above the door which I thought could be done with a plane that they can make a alpha map to create the fence then a normal to make it pop. Thats only addition needed to this building I believe.

These photos were taken by James Branson (his blog) when we all went out taking photographs in the early stages of the project.

This building is currently Bob Carvers on Trinity House Lane. With this model once again the 3D capabilities are there too do buildings like this with good speed and quality at a good optimised level of poly’s. Not many problems came up, due to this i decided on certain windows when we walk past are sometimes open, all i had to do was select the window poly’s detach them from the building then rotated them slightly to give the impression that the windows are open. The group gave me great feedback on this saying they loved the idea and it makes the building looked alot more used and lived in even just with the simple open window rather than a plain shop facure. Again it was just getting the proportions of the building right in relation to my other models and using gathered photography this was made alot easier. I think of all my buildings I like this the most purely because of the windows, it just makes everything look more real and alive. Obviously I will need to make a simple box to simulate a interior as the windows are open and if a player angles it right they will currently be able to see the sky so a simple box interior will solve that problem.

These photos were taken by James Branson (his blog) when we all went out taking photographs in the early stages of the project.

This building is currently a coffee shop called Coco’s, this was originally another students building (David) but he handed it over to me for optimisation and the addition of an interior. I had decreased the poly count from just over 1000 to 238 and that was with adding an interior with shop window showcase area. Being a very simple building I dont really have much to give feedback on, its a basic building which took no more than 30 minutes to optimise then add the interior section using simple edge modelling workflow to then bridge the gaps. I did notice one issue, nothing major but pointed out in the presentation id overlooked the way it had been done at the front with the windows, and this results in N-gons in the gaps either side and between the windows. Simple fix with connect or cut tool. All of these buildings are now ready to be handed over to the texture team.

Here is a few pictures of the complete street section on Trinity House Lane:

I found that modelling a street section was far more productive and beneficial for myself as a 3D modeler. This was because mainly the dimensions, scale and proportions of buildings, I could use the other buildings i had completed and finished to adjust the new ones to make sure the street looked correct. This worked both ways as any misjudged dimensions could be effectively grabbed and moved into place.

Then for Silver Street I have finished RBS and started the silver street entrance to trinity market.

This is currently RBS bank building on Silver Street. Once again a very basic building wasn’t much to it just a few insets for windows after I had added loops to extrude some ledges. Because of the simplicity of the building I added a small shop window interior so that there is potential to turn it into a shop if we find out the original status of the building and if we don’t then an artistic decision will be made to adapt the building to possible a bakery for example.

And finally from the buildings i presented was the beginning of the silver street entrance to trinity market. This is a fairly complex but also modular building for frames and decorations, then a symmetry modifier applied will allow me to easily check the finished building as its only sensible for speed to model half the building if its complex when symmetry can do the work for you on the other side. This building is currently stalled, this is due to the final hand ins coming to a close we have decided for hand in and the public we have to focus on the texturing of Whitefriargate and Parliament Street, all other buildings will be put in with the basic grey block in the background to suggest that the area is under construction and will be completed for main showcase in September.

After we had presented I took the role off Abbiella to create a professional email so that we could email the clients that we had and hadn’t discussed potential showcasing for the project with. This required me to type 2 emails, both similar but adjusted for seen and unseen clients. Once typed it up I asked my tutor Gareth to have a proof check to see if anything could be improved or any key information had been missed. The final email also had a link to our latest video fly through of the project so that the clients could have a quick taster to what we had been working on and will be showcasing.

This is also the grey block video fly through we showed our client John Netherwood when he came in. I disclosed that this is not the final product but an in progress project we gain alot of benefits from public showcasing for our marks and the projects quality. This final email was sent to Fanthorpes, St Stephens, Prospect Centre and Princes Quay.

After waiting a few days I had successful replies from St Stephens and Fanthorpes confirming interest in allowing us showcasing our work. Fanthorpes was already secured from speaking to the shop manager originally but St Stephens was a fresh attempt of securing a client by myself. Since then myself and St Stephens have been in contact discussing the project and when we would like to showcase it. Coinciding with there times and available for displaying space, I managed to get us a showcasing date before our hand in (19th May) which is Friday 15th May. This required us to have a Public liability insurance cover which initially i didn’t know if we have but with contacting my tutors we do have a copy to send to St Stephens and prepare for Friday. Our location is just outside the elevator near the bagel food vendor stall, next week I will discuss with the group on shifts for the showcase as I personally would like people to man the project in-case any of the public wish to stop and talk to us about what we are doing.

A slight issue with St Stephens arose with my tutor Gareth with that it is the shopping centre/ area that has crushed the Whitefriargate area for business and popularity. So when we showcase there as long as we are displaying it as a student project following on from the previous years of the heritage project and our area is a section of Old Town including Whitefriargate, it can be clearly seen as a project rebuilding an area of Hull in the 1960’s and not a display to support Whitefriargate. This turned a few of the group off as they don’t really want any hassle from the public but at the end of the day its an opportunity to showcase our work that i have secured before hand in so participating in it will add to our professionalism and “getting our work out there” for feedback/review.

Will this just around the corner next weeks focus as that is also the session all the texture team should have the Whitefriargate and Parliament Street area textured, so the focus will be on promotional materials for our project. Any promotional materials we have can be a extra visual for the project for the public to have, which will aid them in understanding the project and what we do to make it what it is.

 

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Client Project Session 16/17

Through illness I missed one client session but have been informed by fellow students on the goings on of the project. In session 16 (my absent session) the group held a group critique so that we could evaluate if the new formed pipeline and sub-teams are working more effectively than the process we was following previously. From what ive been told much higher quality work and amount has been produced since the formation of this pipeline. This pleases me greatly as the method of industry practice that we have implemented has worked and collaboratively we are now showing that we can work as a team effeciently. For the rest of that session everybody continued with the work already tasked to them after Phil had introduced to the group the research on PBR (Physical Based Rendering), with a little bit of research we realised that UE4 our engine is a PBR engine, therefore all the texturing we have currently done is not going to be the standard it could be if we did PBR methods.

PBR basically deals with light naturally like it is in real life, the most common maps to use are diffuse/albedo and gloss then you can apply normals and so on. Basically with PBR there is no need to adjust brightness/darkness on your textures for different lighting in engine it is one texture that works for all the albedo map has no lighting information on it so its all calculated in engine. It the latest exciting thing in games that is currently being used in next gen games such as RYSE and Dragon Age Inquisiton.

PBR is briefly explained here:

Then an example of how amazing PBR can be is demonstarted in Quixel’s Demo Reel here:

A brief glimpse there of the types of maps all used just to make a incredibly realistic leaf. If we want our project to look and feel real we have to really look into this and learn the tips and tricks behind pulling it off for the project. I found this demo reel after a bit of PBR research one night and then showed it to the group, it just proves how amazing the detail can be all in texturing we just need to knuckle down and work it out to maximise the potential of our work. This project using PBR could we a fantastic porfolio piece, so this is now the art teams main focus.

Moving on to session 17, I return still not 100% but I dont like being off. The begin the session Phil had been showing me his progress on a portion of the street he was remodelling from semester 1 which he had now included shop interiors, this had been discussed earlier on in the year but never materialised. Now to show what it would look like and how it would be done Phil showed his work to the group and we delivered a group meeting based on interior design for the buildings. We stated this would not be applicable for all the buildings as we may be trying to run before we can walk but certainly for certain shops that we can show off 60s fashion, music and culture this oppurtunity shouldnt be passed up. This means more work for me and my 3D team but it will be beneifical for the project, one of the feedback notes we was given for the project at Hand in is that the shops dont look realistic when looked at because of the shop fronts/ windows by modelling a simple interior (possibly inaccessable) it creates a more naturalistic feel to the project that will further immerse the public in our work.

We then proposed to the group to do a section of the project each for my 3d team. By doing this models should all meet up correctly, be to scale, and having multiple buildings produced side by side by yourself will be great for a porfolio piece. The street i chose to take was Silver Street (Right side) this was because i currently have wetherspoons on trinity house land which goes round the corner onto that side of Silver Street so its only logicial to continue with that area. The street section chosen by each person will require them to model interiors (where applicable and approved by myself) and all assets related to that area of the street. For example if my street has a flower shop, that would require me to model flower shop related assets such as a flowers in a vase to go in the shop window.

After this i had a little talk with Paul my tutor, he expressed he is pleased with the groups advancement and focus since the return but as team leaders myself, Phil and James need to keep a close eye on who isnt working enough. To tackle this Paul proposed we set weekly tasks to the individuals in our team to complete by the next client session, this will make sure people have a sense of deadlines and produce the work. Now as a leader i have to dicuss with my individuals what they think for them is achievable in that period of time. I explained to each one of them this will be a trial and error thing what do they think they can do in a week and what they actually can do, so one week i may realise that as Viktor has sculpted a statue by friday instead of tuesday is that he has been under tasked so in coming weeks a balance can be formed to how much they can do. Its a test to show that those that might not always be in fifth gear if they complete an amount of work then underachieve in the following weeks they should be working harder as i know they can.

Alongside this obviously i have to task myself some work to do. Currently im working on wetherspoons on trinity house lane and my new tasked street is Silver Street’s right hand side.

This will be very helpful for the speed of the project, the sooner we get the streets done the more time we have to fine tune and improve every aspect of our work. With 9 weeks left times running out for us but we can do it.


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Client Project- Session 15

Following on from last weeks session we asked the group inidvidually what area of work they would like to be in for the rest of the cleint project. As explained last session this is purely to try maximise workflow getting people to work in the area they want to go into industry with for the majority with other areas on the side. This group session really felt like we had all clicked and finally collaborated to try maximise the potential of the project.

Here is what we came up with:

hierachy2

3d team is myself, Viktor, Brad and Rinalds with myself as leader.

Art team is James (wolfy), Barrie and Abbie with James as leader.

Engine team is Phil, David and Steve with Phil as leader.

Steve, Viktor and Brad was absent for this session so as leaders we placed them into the teams that we felt they are most effective in and want to do in future.

We then sat down and discussed the plan of action (POA abbreviated) for each of the teams and how we would collaborate between teams. For my 3D team we set a target of a street a week, this maybe rather high expectations but until we test if we can meet this deadline we wont know also placing this deadline will push us as a team to focus and improved speed of work. I personally think a week is a good target dependent on the skill and difficulty of the buildings but 2 weeks should be the limit if we are to push on.

The art team we all sat down including myself and Phil as we are overall team leaders to have final decisions on work. We discussed the art team and their collaboration with the engine team, there priority is to upskill in texturing and uv mapping to work with the 3d buildings handed over. Then to produce basic, slightly visual and then some high quality (public viewed) concepts. The engine team just need the basic concepts where its simple boxes labelled car or building etc with some annotations of angles and maybe movement mechanics. This will assist them with the engine block out and add to our design work rather than first decision of put that there it will do. James is inevitably leader of the art team and will have to pass on some skills to his co workers to produce quality for this process. Im sure more has been added to this plan of action i believe the production of atlas mapping has been worked on over the day.

Then the engine team currently has HUD to work on, additional blueprints that could be implemented for interactivity (e.g. ladder climb) and then the rest is working on the block out with relies on the 3d and art team to collaborate with them. I think we have formulated a effective team workflow with a good balance to it for everyone to have equal input. Hopefully this goes as well as we plan it to as this goes towards credit for our professionalism and industry practice marks.

For today we borrowed Phil and David from the engine team as currently they have little to do and 3D is a priority so loaning them to 3D was a way of showing we are all team players if needs we interchangable team positions to accelerate the process will occur.

As 3D team leader i tasked my group to Trinity House Lane, myself and rinalds picked 3 buildings and Phil and David picked 1. Leaving a few for Viktor and Brad when they return, the lists are up on Basecamp and they are yet to claim buildings and i havent seen them so hopefully they are in tuesday to catch up. Currently i am working on weatherspoons up to Bob carvers they are my 3 buildings all connected so should be no issues.

Throughout the day teams sat with their teams worked together and it just felt like we had missed a trick not doing this from the start, lots of peer to peer learning and group/team critique will come from this our communication has definately improved and has been underlined as key for this to succeed. On a final note we have decided to implement the Oculus Rift into our project which will hopefully attract alot of attention when we finally display to the public.


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Client Project- Session 14

Recently we all had our hand ins at the beginning of January, this was a mock deadline for us set to give us a halfway tutorial point from our tutors to give feedback on our work so far. Last blog of mine for client was some final tweaks to my hand in like improved textures. I managed to hand in on time and made sure that the engine was functional with Phil for all the learning objectives in the interactive environments module as well as peoples work handed to us to go in engine.

Moving on from that during the assessment period myself and Phil as team leaders discussed how we can try a new way of keeping everyone engaged in the project with faster work rate, this was because towards the end of the semester people was saying they didn’t enjoy doing for example 3D or a specific area of 3D like buildings. This gave an idea of a industry style pipeline to be implemented, this means that the group would be given a chance to partition into groups (maybe people they don’t normally work with) to work in smaller mini teams showing collaboration in their given specific areas. For example one person may think after this course they want to be a concept artist, so we would allocate that person to the art team. This would mean they focus mainly on the art side of work so concepts, public visuals (logos etc.) and texturing. Despite this it would not give them total immunity to 3D and other work as it is needed from everyone just they will have less of it than the 3D team.

Now this may not work and may take some adapting for people to get their own design process to adapt to the pipeline but if we can pull it off it shows we can work collaboratively as a team using industry practice which would surely add to our marks for professionalism. There may be areas that work and area that don’t so we can hopefully tailor the process to maximise our workflow. I’m thinking the pipeline as in handing your model to someone else to texture to get it back as its not fully optimised may cause some issues but im hoping the mini teams will definitely work, to start getting people to work with other people that like the same area of work and they will hopefully teach each other techniques for speed.

All that being said I called a group meeting to discuss this semester and last semester, how we did and how we are going to move forward. This was sort of a reiteration of Gareth and Paul’s meeting about us being way behind schedule and alot not being up to scratch. Nothing was targeted at any individual just a general grilling for everyone trying to hammer in that we need to pull together to finish this project. Mainly we need more work but we need speed with that, peoples speed of work is what could cost us so whether some extra tutorials or peer help would benefit the group wide up-skilling. To try implement that we are going to set deadlines, so a deadline will be set per piece and if the person does not meet the deadline then the work shall be taken off them for someone else to do, then its only yourself you are letting down the work is getting done just less and less by the people who don’t put in the time.

A few things was highlighted about re addressing our hand in work like texturing, texture quality, and optimising models. This was obvious from the hand in it needed to be higher quality but i just pointed out again.

I then moved onto the Hellblade development diary that i found, i did a blog post on this and put it on basecamp for the group to see. Unfortunately a few missed this notification so i did a little session where we watched the video as a group and then i took us through the features of collaboration, team work, design process, and adapting to your working environment. All of these we are going to try implement into our work as described above with the pipeline. The other thing was to do a development diary of our own, currently we have 2 development videos but we believe the style of the video Hellblade did was much more descriptive and professional that the process we have been taking.

We have now decided to implement the Oculus Rift into our project which when implemented into the project should attract as much attention as the last years Paragon project which had alot of views assisted by trying the rift. This is an exciting feature for us as virtual reality headsets seem to be edging into next generation gaming especially with Sony Ps4’s upcoming Project Morpheus.

This concluded this weeks client project meeting, we left giving everyone a week to figure out what they want to do in this project. But it was cleared up that they should not focus so much on what for the client project but a deeper thought into what they want to do after the course.

Then the remainder of the buildings was put into “to-do’s” on basecamp for people to claim and complete, this is just for grabs until next week when the 3D team will take priority over buildings.


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Client Project- Hand In

It came around alot faster than expected but we have now handed in for the client project. Despite a recently blog on my christmas and session 13 work we was given a slight extension to our initial Tuesday hand in to the Friday due to some engine issues that with slight extra time would be implemented, also a lack of textures from most people was still to come in so we was grateful for the extra time. Despite that by now we should be tuned to deadlines having them done before the actual day so any fine tweaks can be made with little panic.

With this slight extension it gave me some room to do some more work. I could have gone many ways to add to my work like texturing my car but I realised this process may need slightly longer and not to be rushed. So instead I re-addressed my textures from the whole process going back to my first buildings to improve the general look.

When I went back to look at some of my early unwraps and textures it shocked me how far i have come in advancing my unwrapping and texturing skills. With some quick tweaks to early unwraps without redoing it all i made some more room for larger uv’s which means higher quality. One thing in particular lacking from some early buildings was that of doors and windows, early on we mentioned the idea of multi subbing windows to give a realistic reflection and look to the buildings but to do this we needed an interior otherwise you just see emptiness behind your building. I decided for now to apply some simple window textures which isnt as realistic but at least its not seethrough glass or a grey untextured area. Then for the doors most of my buildings are shops and with our setting being night time i just applied some shutters so imply its closed and locked up.

Here are my hand in buildings:

I was pleased with the outcomes of m&s, poundland and parliament street building probably because they are my later buildings to be textured i had a bit more knowledge to improve my work. With the other 3 being basic buildings not much could be done but correct stiching unwrapping has been done so cannot complain much just needs a bit of work. There was a minor issue with the windows on crawshaws they look very washed out and white also the bottom windows have some random shapes on them, im yet to figure out why this is its probably a quick fix once i figure it out though.

Overall very pleased with my extra work done in the additional time and feel i am improving on the texturing with each piece of work i do. Next is to tackle unwrapping and texturing the cars for the level, this may take alot of time but it will get there and make me a better worker for it.


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Client Project- Christmas and Session 13

At the end of the previous session we discussed what we would be doing over the christmas period running up to hand in. Using Basecamp we set priorities in the form of to-dos some specified to individuals for example myself i had to blueprint pawn possession, or general to-dos for everybody like finish all building textures. This was made very clear before the holiday and the use of basecamp and communication was mentioned prior to that aswell as vital over the holiday period. This was evident due to basecamps tracking of log ins half the group didnt use the program at all and few used it regulary, this picked up when reminded but it should be a habit by now to be keeping well involved with all the work making sure your not missing one bit. That being said we reiterated it on return hoping for a collective group to be working professionally using the likes of basecamp on a regular basis.

Over the holiday period most had to admit little had been done or more could have been done, I myself know i did do work but could have done more if I had only special occasions off. Despite that I have managed to texture 5 of my 6 buildings after finishing the parliament street building model with the last texture in progress , my blogs are current in the client. Since return I have modelled an interior for the classic mini, blueprinted Pawn possession (with assisstance from Phil for the exiting of the vehicle which took a while and 2 heads to figure out), and most recently to much joy I have managed to correctly rig, weight paint, animate and blueprint my mini to be driveable in engine. I will now elaborate on my process for each of these with images.

As far as textures go most i have already uploaded so ill just show the most recent, which is a model im also yet to show.

 

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This is a building down parliament street, I chose it as I know modelling is one of my strong points so I felt a more difficult looking building would be better tasked to myself. I had some issues along the way despite that the making of the bottom half was the hardest part with the extruded sandy parts needing different sizes each time and to bend around the window. I am very pleased with my final product of the model and doing such a detailed building in 2781 polys when a high detail building was originally tasked at 20000, shows im getting better at modularity and having an eye for optimising my model.

parliament_textureThe texture i was very pleased with, I used simple planar mapping for most of the unwrap then just a few cases of needing to grab verticies to not have stretches around stiched corners and then just scaling so that the checker pattern created nice neat squares across each area. The changes i will make to this will be the bottom section, the stone part was a basic tileable stone texture that I have hand painted it to make it look like bricks, but after some digging a stone texture like that of the original building was found so its just needs applying. There is a slight issue with the bricks on the left window they skew a bit I wasnt sure on why this was at the time so i continued with the unwrap and when I textured it I forgot about that being left. This needs patching up once I find out why its done this but shouldnt be too much hassle hopefully. Next is to apply normal maps to my buildings to create more realistic textures.

Moving on I modelled an interior for my classic mini using my own reference and just reference from classic mini online stores for accuracy.

With this interior modelled we can now have the in car view for the classic mini not only for people walking past to see a interior but for the pawn possession feature we can drive this in first person view. Im really happy with my end result for the interior all that is left for the car now is to be textured. Im not sure ill have time for this before hand in but certainly will be a definate for the end product.

Now to have all this used to its max I was tasked with the pawn possession feature for interactivity which would be done in blueprints. This is a slight alteration of my initial idea early on of a racing game due to the figure of 8 on the map but i wanted to be involved especially when they are my vehicles in the project. Being fairly efficient in blueprints this was a task i felt confident in completing using the help of online tutorials and ue4 answer hub. Now this was the case i had it all working then realised that we need to get out once we are in. This was proving more difficult as the player would spawn back at player start instead of outside the car. Also spawing the player inside the car in view for 3rd person example purposes made 2 collisions collide and send everything absolutely mental.

With the addition help from Phil it took us most of the day but we finally figured out how to get them in and out of the car. After celebrating we then realised we can get out and in at anytime from anywhere. Simple fix of a radius overlap on collision enabling the key press to enter, then the exit the player could just bail tuck and roll at anytime like GTA. We didnt want this so again took time to work out how to calculate it to only be exitable when throttle is less than 1. This was completed by the end of the day and we now have a working pawn possession in our project to add to interactivity.

But to make this our own personal touch rather than Unreal Engine 4’s preset sedan vehicle in our game which didnt match the 60s theme at all, I was then challenged with the unknown area of rigging a vehicle for it to then work in Ue4 with our pawn possession. Im going to be straight I did this process over and over so many times due to issues with bones, not weight painting it right, UE4 claiming un-weighted bones, wrong hierachy for the bones. And that was just 3DSMax issues, when i got all the max issues resolved I put it in UE4 for animation blueprints not to fire, car controls not to work, the car to have everything set up and stay stationary, physics assets not correctly set up, the sedan to be clashing with the custom vehicle blueprints and setting up the front and back wheel blueprints wrong having all wheels rotating manicly. It was a laugh but i can now say ive done it that many times through trail and error the process has been memorised and hopefully mastered for future use. It was such a relief to see car wheels spinning after hours of stress and frustration on why it all was going wrong for me. Persistance got me there and now im proud to have the vehicle able to be possessed and driveable. Additional animation will need to be taken into consideration due to the interior view like the steering wheel with hands, gear changes, dials etc but for now it works to a standard im pleased with for a rookie in the rigging area.

Here are some screenshots of the process in 3dsMax:

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Then moving into UE4:

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Despite this lengthy process it was well worth me sticking to it, not only for end product for the client but this will also help me in my self initiated racing game.

On reflection im pleased with the work that I have done but would have liked more done over the holidays to have a larger amount of especially assets to hand in. Due to the complexity of cars its not a botch quick job it takes time and with focusing on them in client and self initiated i think i need a break to rapidly produce smaller assets for the project.

As for the hand in, Myself and Phil will be making the modular road system again due to some slight measurement miscalculations and then texturing that ready for hand in. Hopefully we will have a collective textured section of our project which is the primary target. We already covered the interactivity side with a treasure hunt, involving pick ups, inventory system, gate and key system, driveable car (pawn possession), throwable object projectiles, and then a basic HUD with minimap and inventory system. My contribution to this was the pawn possession due to my main skillsets being in modelling and Phil taking the lead on the blueprints side of things.

Hopefully everybody does manage to get everything tasked on basecamp done within prioritising so buildings modelled and textured the priority then all the rest being added bonus. I look forward to our feedback as i know we should be alot further ahead and hopefully the group steps up to really get the best out of our client piece for the final product.

EDIT: I have now resolve the brick skewing issue it was a mistake on my behalf aligning some verticies horizontally that shouldnt have been, really simple fix thankfully.

texture fix


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Client Project- Communication

“The responsibility for communication and project management falls to the group, although project progress is monitored and assisted by academic staff.” – Part of the brief description

To meet all areas of our brief we are assessed on the ways we work as a team alongside how professional we are at going about this. Professionalism comes up in many areas we have covered such as group critique where to be professional you will sit and listen when a student is presenting there work and once they have finished give constructive feedback or critisism in relation to the work they have shown. That being one example this blog post addresses the way we communicate as a group to bring the project together.

I am doing this post now as we come up to the christmas holiday period and work has been set for a deadline when we return. But how do we go about reminding people of that other than the initial spoken brief of the moment. Well we have a few ways we have been using so far:

Facebook– The popular social networking site has all of the students on and using on a regular basis via pc, phone and tablets. It provides a quick and easy form of contact to fellow students regarding work or as previous cases have been absence to the sessions. In facebook we have 2 groups, one being our own private group where we have been posting tutorials, information and news regarding our work. Then the other is a page open to the public where we post our videos and news to keep them all interested in the project this is more of a asset of getting our word out but still communicates to the public for potential feedback.

These are some quick screen captures of what i am talking about.

Fleep– This is a way for teams or businesses to chat aswell as send files to eachother through a conversation. This is the main program we have been using to upload files to go into the project so far alongside facebook being the most used for help and feedback. Fleep allows us to simply type a message to the group who are all added in the chat through email (sends notifications through email when a message is sent) or upload a file which the group can individually download. Its rather casual means of communication isnt much structure other than chat and upload. This has been the general go to for give us your buildings to go into the project over fleep rather than handing in through hard drive.

fleep

fleep

Youtube– Our primary video uploading website where updates for the project have been videoed and uploaded for all of us to embed on our blogs and also post to other social networking sites to show the outside world our work. The link is to our page which currently has 2 videos of the client project process filmed by Me and Phil. This is there for anyone to use for personal video clips on their contributions if they feel they want a in depth analysis of there work explain through visual rather than a blog.

BaseCamp– As the provided and assessed program we have been given Basecamp, a professional business management software which we need to start using to show our professionalism. In Basecamp you can send a message, make a “to-do list”, add an event, and upload files. The use of the To-do list gives us a visual calender to set deadlines for the group, people can tick off that they have met this if finished. We also can monitor the use of the program as there is a “last logged in” section on the page, so people who havent been checking basecamp maybe missing work or deadlines if they say they forgot we can reinforce its on basecamp and you should be checking it regulary.

Here is some visuals of the layout, it clearly looks the more professional and with a limited space for uploads this will be needed for final models and the project not just endless building updates. We can use the other methods to support that and as long as we evidence it then it counts as management of the client project.

As one fo the leaders in the group I will have to take a forward role in enforcing people to use these programs especially Basecamp so that work is done collaboratively and effectively, But have setting up all the online presence myself they all know its there and have passwords if they need to log in to them for personal use. We also have a hotmail and a twitter but are yet to use them so i havent included them in the primary methods.

To summarise this we use Facebook as a means for quick contact, tutorials, quick feedback and pooling resources from alternate online areas (youtube etc). Fleep is our quick and easy uploading weekly or after group critique hand ins of work to update the client project consistently. Youtube is basically a way to upload our process update videos so that we can show the public and embed videos into our blogs. Finally Basecamp is our main software piece assessed on our group management and professionalism which we will use for deadlines and files.